ABOUT ST JOHN BAPTIST CHURCH
BEHIND THE SCENES
In 1865, Gus Holman, a local white farmer, donated a parcel of land in Calhoun County, off of
highway S9-99 for a few ex-slaves, still scatted from their years of captivity, to have as a place
to worship. Until a church could be built, Bush Harbor services were held under the leadership of a
Mr. Abraham McCord.
The original building was a wooden structure that faced the west. Baptism was initially in the
Holman Branch, about a quarter of a mile from the church's original site, until the church was able
to build a pool.
Among the first parishioners were the McCords, Moss, Quatterbaums and the Zimmermans. St. John
Baptist Church has had may notable pastors. They are the late Rev. Frank B. Johnson, Rev. A.W.
Milton, the late Rev. T.O. Everett, the late Rev. Patrick James, the late Rev. J.W. Davis, and the
late Rev. J.J. Glover. During Rev. Everett's administration, the original building was turned around
to face the highway.
The following great men have chaired the Deacons Board: The late Dea. Lewis Moss, the late David
Quatterbaum, the late P.W. Glover Jr, Daniel Haynes, the late Eddie Taylor Sr, the late P.W Glover
Sr, the late James C. Cant and at the present time, Dea. Wille Pelzer Sr, Chairman and Deacon.
Wilbur Blacks as Assistan Chairperson.
The Trustee Board has been Chaired by the following persons: the late Mr. Hercules Jamison Sr, the
late Joseph Love, the late Mrs. Delores H. Glover, Mr. Freddie Footman, Mr. Abraham Funchess, Mr.
Allen Nicholas, Mr. William Footman Jr, and at present time Ms. Carol Keller Cheeseboro.
From Bush Harbor to the sanctuary, with an educational section, we now have on roll approximately
200 members. The late Rev. J.J. Glover became our pastor in Febuary of 1958, until his retirement in
July of 2006. Under the leadership of Rev. Glover the primary building of the old St John School was
renovated in 1964, to become the Sanctuary of the church. When renovation began for the Sanctuary,
the Sister Anna Liza Williams and the Late Sister Bertha Jamison did a fundraiser to purchase the
pulpit chairs that are still being used today. There were many of our members who helped in the
reconstruction of the building.
In 1965, the church was given the deed and title for the land by Mr. Bates Houck. The church
purchased an additional parcel of land for a new cemetary from Mr. Larry Haigler at the cost of
$5.00, by the late Henry Pelzer. Today our Deacons Board consists of seven deacons: Willie Pelzer
Sr, Wilbur Blacks, Nathaniel Robinson, Ben Smith Jr, Albert Smith, Daniel Stoman, and Prailow
Funchess. We also at this time have two walkng deacons which will be ordained in December of 2007.
They are: Sonny Robinson and Willie Pelzer Jr.
There have been several Mothers of the Church: the late Geogia Ann Zimmerman, the late Martha Ann
Footman, the late Mary Jane Taylor, deaconess Lottie McCants, Sister Deborah H. Cheeseboro, and
deaconess Vernia Staleey. Today our Mother's Board consists of Mother Mary L Butler, Mother Louise
Grace, Mother Geneva Haigler, and Mother Lottie McCants.
From the very beginning our church has had a choir. Today we have the following choirs. Senior
Choir: Mrs. Mary Waymer is serving as president and Sister. Willie Mae Guinyard served as past
president. The Gospel Choir was organized in 1944 as the St John Baptist Church Usher Board. They
ushered and sang thoughout the community. Today they are members of the Bull Swamp and Choir
Convention. The Gospel Choir was reorganized in 1951 to function as a choir only. Now Deacon Prailow
Funchess serves as President, along with twelve members.They changed their name to THe Inspirational
The J.J. Glover Choir was organized on July 7th 1976 by the late Deacon James C McCants. Sister
Pearlie Footman, Sister Deborah Cheeseboro and Sister Willie Dean Odom have served as an adisors of
The Community Mass Choir was organized in june 1989.
The Usher Board works every Sunday under the direction of Sister Betty Glover.Today we have senior
and junior ushers. The church does not have any musicians at this time, but with the Lord guiding us
we will have one in 2008.
In the spring of 2005, the church was able to convert the sanctuary and education building with a
The Rev. Dr. H.S. Capers was elected as our Associate Pastor in August of 2005 and he became our
pastor in August of 2006 after the retirement of the late Rev. J.J. Glover, due to illness. Since
Rev. Capers became pastor he has established the following auxiliaries: The Jubilee Choir, The
Health Aid Committee, The Pastor Aid, Deaconess, Transportation, and Children's Church. In 2006 we
had our first Harvest Fest on October 31st. We were abe to buy and pay for our first 21 passenger
bus. Rev. Dr. Capers has also assisted wit the purchase of much needed communion table supplies,
candleholders, candle lighters, a Cross for the pulpit, and a new offering table. Under his
leadership we now give each president a cake on his/her birthday. At the end of each month there is
a cake for all that celebrated a birthday duing that month.